In preparation for the birth of your baby or somewhere down the road as a new parent, you might start considering using baby cloth diapers. It sounds messy for sure and who has time for more work than necessary as a new parent..?
Well, it doesn’t have to be super messy and labor-intensive, and there are actually good reasons for going with cloth diapers.
Essentially, there are three main reasons for using baby cloth diapers, which you can read about below. If you are more curious about how to actually use cloth diapers, you find tips here.
Why to Use Cloth Diapers for Baby
- Reason #1: Disposable diapers are bad for the environment
- Reason #2: Cloth diapers are better for your baby
- Reason #3: Cloth diapers are cheaper than using disposables
- Some more reasons…
Reason #1: Disposable diapers are bad for the environment
I know what you’re already saying: everything is bad for the environment. Well until I looked it up, I didn’t realize how incredibly bad disposable diapers really are. A simple Google search (using the keywords: disposable diapers environmental effects) can lead you to finding the real poop about the environmental effects of disposable diapers.
And in the end, it’s really all about the poop, although you can also talk about the one billion trees used worldwide in the manufacture of disposable diapers. However, it is estimated that roughly 5 million tons of untreated waste from disposable diapers are added to landfills each year. Landfills aren’t designed to handle human waste. It costs $50 million a year just to keep up landfills which end up harboring all sorts of viruses, bacteria, and pollution from this raw sewage. This human waste leaks out and slowly leaches into our groundwater and is a serious contaminant for soils as well.
Reason #2: Cloth diapers are better for your baby
This one’s really simple and it has to do with diaper rash. Baby cloth diapers minimize diaper rash because you are changing diapers a lot more when you use cloth.
While disposable diapers use chemicals to absorb the wetness (more on this in a minute), with cloth diapers, babies feel the wetness right away and don’t like it. They cry and cry and you change their diaper – a lot! Some babies go through 12 to 15 cloth diapers a day easy. That is more work for you, but your baby might not have more than slight rashes if any.
The plastic in the disposable diaper doesn’t breathe either so all the heat and moisture generated as a result provides the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and cause a rash. There is actually a debate among parents here at Easy Baby Life regarding mysterious circled diaper rashes when using Pampers – it has been going on for many years! Not one of the babies with problems seems to be using cloth diapers. You can follow the discussions here.
So back to those chemicals I mentioned earlier. They’re not good for the baby either. According to Greenpeace, there are traces of dioxin and TBT (tributyltin), two highly toxic chemicals in disposable diapers. The EPA lists Dioxin as the most toxic of all cancer-linked contagious. Oddly enough (or not depending on your point of view), this doesn’t seem to deter companies from continuing to make diapers with these chemicals in it.
Reason #3: Cloth diapers are cheaper than using disposables
Let’s cut to the chase and get at what’s really going to make a mom and dad consider using baby cloth diapers: cloth diapers will save you lots of money. For some parents, it might not matter and they’ll say it’s worth the convenience.
Let’s play a quick numbers game and see what you think afterward:
Say you only have one child using disposable diapers over the course of one year. Let’s say that in the first 3 months you go through 10 diapers a day (900 diapers). As baby gets older, you use 8 diapers a day for the next 6 months (1440 diapers), and over the last 3 months of the year, you use 6 per day (540 diapers). This totals to 2880 diapers in one year. The average cost of one diaper is rough $0.25. This comes to a total cost of $720 or $60/month.
In preparations for using baby cloth diapers, you can register for pre-fold cloth diapers. At one you might want to invest in some diaper covers for about $25 and some Snappis (see below) for about $10. The total cost to use cloth diapers for the first year: $35 or about $3/month.
If you don’t know where to buy quality cloth diapers, a good place to start is Amazon. They actually have lots of baby cloth diapering stuff as well as lots of other great items for your baby.
Some more reasons…
- Parents who use baby cloth diapers swear their child potty trained quicker. My sister claims the same. Not sure if there is any science to back this up, but who knows..?
- No pins required. If you’re like me, I was terrified at the thought of trying to pin a diaper closed with a squirmy little baby inside it.
- Those days are gone, though. Fitted cloth diaper brands use snaps or Velcro. We use a Snappi Cloth Diaper Fasteners (here at Amazon) for prefold cloth diapers. You can also use a diaper cover, like this one at Amazon, over the diaper and that will keep things good for you as well.
Overall, baby cloth diapers are kind of fun. Yeah, I know it’s strange but I must admit I like seeing the looks I get from people when I change my baby in public. :-)
More About Diapering A Baby
Baby Diapering in our Forum
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- Baby pooping at night – change diapers?
Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing are based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians who assist in reviewing and writing articles.